BLACK METAL | TURKEY
RELEASED VIA EXTREMINAL PRODUCTIONS IN 2010
Passages from the Dark Side is a 3 way split of Turkish black metal bands and admittedly the only one I’ve heard of before is Valefor.
Ezayah’s contribution is technically only one track as the first of theirs is a one minute intro track which is okay and sets the mood well. Onto the track ‘In the Woods’, this sounds more like a demo than anything else. Very thin and tinny production, fairly high shrieked vocals and some dreary clean vocals too. There’s not really much to say here as there’s not enough to comment on. It’s certainly not bad and there are some nice guitar lines and for the most past is quite fast. 3.5/10
Valefor’s two tracks are much more substantial at around eight minutes each. They come in the form of slow, depressive style black metal. There’s some very strange vocals going on and are sort of a distant high yelp or wail. It think I’ve heard a similar style before on some of Vinterriket’s work. The main focus here is the guitar work which displays distorted arpeggiated riffs and slow lonely melodies, fairly characteristic of the style. All in all Valefor’s contribution is quite good and the odd vocals are entertaining and at least unique. 6.5/10
Zenith Maudlin’s two tracks are also similar in length to Valefor’s and also focus around the depressive side of the genre. ‘Murdered Within Nothingness’ breaks into quite an eerie funeral doom style with an effective feedback noise which just adds to the already disturbing sound. I’m reminded a little of Nortt. There’s some cold dark synth here too which provides a good atmosphere. So far as I can tell there are no vocals here, and it seems the obscure feedback noises which continue throughout are there in place of them which is certainly something different. Final track ‘After Poisoned Seven Minutes’ continues in much the same fashion though without that feedback sound. It’s a much more atmospheric song and I think amidst the murkiness of the track there may be some clean vocals droning in the background, though this may just be the synths, it’s too hard to tell! 8/10
Taking all three parts into consideration, this split isn’t exactly the cream of back metal, but it does give you an insight into three different Turkish bands and perhaps an taster of their scene, and the Valefor and particularly the Zenith Maudlin tracks are quite good. Probably more of a collector’s item if you are specifically a fan of one of the bands.